Brothers to face retrial over attempted murder of neighbor

-after jury fails to arrive at verdict

Owing to a jury’s inability to arrive at a verdict, the two brothers accused of attempting to murder their neighbour will now have to await another trial to determine the charge levelled against them.

After just over four hours of deliberations, a jury last evening announced that the 12-member panel was deadlocked and unable to arrive at verdicts for either of the accused, Brian Joseph or Dequan Small.

Asked whether additional time for further deliberations may have assisted, the forewoman, after briefly consulting with the other members of the jury, responded in the negative.

At some minutes after seven, Justice Sandil Kissoon, who presided over the trial at the Deme-rara Assizes, informed the brothers that in the circumstances they will remain on bail pending another trial, of which they will be informed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in due course.

Joseph had been arraigned on the charge of wounding Sean Hussein with intent to murder him on June 24th, 2007, at Lot 63 Diamond, East Bank Demerara. In the alternative, he was charged with felonious wounding.

His younger brother, meanwhile, had been accused of aiding and abetting him to murder Hussein.

They had both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In his testimony, the complainant had told the court that the brothers were known trouble-makers in the community, and would often bully persons.

He said that on the day in question, he was sitting in a hammock under his house when the men called out to him, indicating that they wanted to speak with him.

Once he had gotten to where they were standing, the complainant said that Joseph dealt him a lash to the side of his head, as a result of which he immediately fell to the ground unconscious.

Pointing to a sizeable indentation to the side of his head, where he said he had been hit, Hussain had told the court that he has been taking medication ever since because of the injuries he sustained at the hands of the two men.

Dr. Dwayne Kellman had testified that the Hussain’s injuries were life threatening.

In his defence, however, Joseph, a father of four, had said that it was Hussein who had confronted him, while noting that he retaliated in self-defence.

According to him, he became afraid of the complainant, whom he said is a substance abuser and was armed with a gun that he carried at the time.

“I was only 18 at the time and he was a big man, and I was really frightened,” Joseph lamented.

For his part, however, Small said that he was never around at the time of the alleged altercation between his older brother and Hussein and, therefore, he knew absolutely nothing of what may or may not have transpired. 

In the story he related to the court, Joseph too said that his brother was not present during what he described as the scuffle he and Hussain had.

The state’s case was presented by Prosecutor Lisa Cave, in association with Shawnette Austin.

Meanwhile, the accused were represented by attorney-at-law Michael Somersall.

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